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Only a Pawn in Their Game

(„The Times They Are A-Changin'”, 1964 Columbia)
słowa i muzyka: Bob Dylan

A bullet from the back of a  bush took Medgar Evers' blood.

A finger fired the trigger to his name.

A handle hid out in the dark

A hand set the spark

Two eyes took the aim

Behind a man's brain

But he can't be blamed

He's only a pawn in their game.


A South politician preaches to the poor white man,

”You got more than the blacks, don't complain.

You're better than them, you been born with white skin,” they explain.

And the Negro's name

Is used it is plain

For the politician's gain

As he rises to fame

And the poor white remains

On the caboose of the train

But it ain't him to blame

He's only a pawn in their game.


The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid,

And the marshals and cops get the same,

But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool.

He's taught in his school

From the start by the rule

That the laws are with him

To protect his white skin

To keep up his hate

So he never thinks straight

'Bout the shape that he's in

But it ain't him to blame

He's only a pawn in their game.


From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks,

And the hoof beats pound in his brain.

And he's taught how to walk in a pack

Shoot in the back

With his fist in a clinch

To hang and to lynch

To hide 'neath the hood

To kill with no pain

Like a dog on a chain

He ain't got no name

But it ain't him to blame

He's only a pawn in their game.


Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught.

They lowered him down as a king.

But when the shadowy sun sets on the one

That fired the gun

He'll see by his grave

On the stone that remains

Carved next to his name

His epitaph plain:

Only a pawn in their game.

Only a Pawn in Their Game” is a song written by Bob Dylan about the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers in June 1963. It is also about the racism long ingrained in the Mississippi judicial system and throughout society in the Southern United States which, for many years, allowed Evers' killer to remain free. The song was released on Dylan's 1964 The Times They Are a-Changin' album.


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